For whatever reason, my wife and I tend to open and close life chapters pretty abruptly.

Starting at the end of June, we’ll be socking our belongings away in a storage unit, leaving Colorado, and embarking on an ambitious adventure: an extended travel sabbatical we’re calling the Travis Traverse. It’s something we’ve talked about since we graduated college, and fortunately we’re in a good place to take time off from work and travel.

It’s definitely an interesting time to pack up our belongings and hit the road, but if there’s one thing we’ve learned in the past couple of years, it’s that nothing’s guaranteed in life. If not now, when?

But why?

Having both grown up abroad, we’ve loved travel from a young age. Whether it’s hiking a new natural park, meeting new friends, learning unique traditions, or tasting unfamiliar cuisine - traveling is a great way to grow.

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.” - Mark Twain

Our past travel experiences have had a huge impact on us, and this kind of extended travel together has been a dream for almost a decade. While it’s possible, feasible, and totally reasonable to travel a couple weeks or even a month at a time (hello, Europeans!), we’re aiming to travel between six and nine months. We can’t hop to a new city every couple of days, but we’re hoping to instead stay put for a few weeks in most places to get to know places and people more, with some smaller sightseeing trips in between.

Less fast travel, more slow travel.

In the future, we’ll continue to travel or potentially even move abroad, but this is our chance to go all out and travel in the moment before we settle down and gain some more responsibilities. Hopefully we’ll come away with some great memories, new friends, an expanded worldview, and…some new favorite foods. 😋

What are the plans?

There are plenty of amazing places and people to explore here in the US, so we’re kicking off the Travis Traverse with a Great American Road Trip™ before heading to Alaska and reconnecting with some old friends before we start our international leg.

Our first international destination will be Germany, where we’ll see my family for a couple weeks before traveling to…somewhere else? From there, we’ll be changing things up a bit. Normally we’re both big planners. I’m talking spreadsheets galore for even our small trips. For the rest of our travel experience, we’ll step outside of our comfort zone and leave things up to chance.

We’re planning to focus on work exchanges and make more last-minute decisions. There are definitely plenty of places we’d love to go, so we’ll let fate narrow down our choices. We’ll see how it goes!

This is an “unprecedented” time for a lot of things, especially travel. We’ve got a rough plan of our first couple of months, and then we’ll see how things pan out. Our choice of countries and cities will depend on a lot of different factors, and we know that some places won’t even be open for us.

What’s next?

We’ll be spending the next couple of weeks wrapping things up in Colorado and prepping for our trip. There’s still plenty to do!